In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals we meet a young mother hailing from Long Island, New York whose love for designer bags began as a teenager. She received her first designer bag, a Louis Vuitton Speedy, as a gift from her grandmother at age 18. Though she is, admittedly, impacted by social media influencers, at this stage of life she’s decided to focus on the classics only when purchasing bags moving forwards. Little by little this pharmacist has sold off her more contemporary bags in favor of bags she’ll be able to carry for years to come. Next up on her wishlist? An Hermès Evelyne of course!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Long Island, NY
Household Income: $330,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 8
What bags are in your collection? Stella McCartney tote. Prada saffiano tote. Vintage Celine top handle. Celine trio. Celine nano luggage. Celine belt bag. Chanel maxi in caviar with GHW. Chanel large boy in black calfskin.
How much is your collection worth? $17-18K
What is your most expensive bag? Chanel maxi in black caviar with gold hardware. It was a gift from my mom when I graduated with my doctorate degree from graduate school. I was 23. At the time it cost $4,500 and I was so scared to let it see the light of day.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? All of my Celine bags are from the Phoebe Philip era. I appreciate the lack of gaudy hardware, clean lines and minimalistic style. My two Chanel’s are special because they are the ultimate classics in my book. They were both gifts from my mother at two important milestones. One for finishing grad school and one for turning 30.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 16. Coach. Does Coach count? I got three bags from various family members. Everyone in my high school had the bags with the C pattern and I was no exception. Used them everywhere until I went to college.
At 18 I was gifted my first premium designer bag by my grandmother. A Louis Vuitton Speedy. This started my love of designer bags and shoes.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I’ve tailored down so many of my bags I’ve gotten over the years. Now that I am a mom with two kids but past the diaper bag stage I don’t like to carry too much stuff around with me. I have my eyes on an Hermes Evelyne 29. It seems so functional and the perfect size for me. I want to only purchase bags that will be classics. Ultimately I would like to also add a Hermes garden party and a medium classic Chanel flap in a color other than black. Will probably purchase the Chanel second hand because the price increases are ridiculous.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My two Chanel’s because they were gifts given to me on specific moments in my life. My vintage Celine top handle bag handed down to me my by my mother. It’s timeless and classic
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Maybe when shopping but not in general. I live in an area where most women carry or wear designer brands so none of my bags are headturners.
How often do you buy new bags? I used to purchase a bag once a year. But over the years I’ve tailored my collection to classic and timeless pieces and sold a lot of my others. So far I’ve sold my Mansur Gavriel backpack, bucket bag and mini mini bucket bag. I’ve also sold my Proenza Schouler PS1 and PS11. I used them so infrequently and a lot of the times I was influenced by social media fads. I’ve decided to only purchase bags that I can carry now till I’m an old lady. Timeless classics!
Which stores do you frequent the most? Neiman Marcus for my Celines. My two Chanels were bought at Hirshleifers, a boutique in a mall in Long Island
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I haven’t but I’m not against it. Especially for Chanel.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I sold bags on the RealReal. Mostly to whittle down my collection but not really to pay for new purchases.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Instagram is a curse. But in terms of my career and my social life no. My friends and I all love shopping but most of us have families and children so we know what’s important.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Nope. After selling some of my bags, I’ve realized how little they retain in value.
Who influences your buying decisions? Influencers on Instagram. Terrible, I know.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Nope. I’ve never had an unpleasant experience. Nor an extraordinarily positive one. All my bags have been purchased in person. When I decide on a bag, it’s after endless research on my part so when I pull the trigger I usually am very decisive. Down to the color, size, etc. therefore all of my purchases are usually quick and to the point.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I’ve always loved it. I first got a job when I was 16 so I can buy my own clothes and was sick of going shopping with my mom. I love shopping on my own, or with others. Beautiful clothes, bags and shoes excite me. I do consider myself a shopaholic but I’ve been trying to stop. I realized that I use so little of what I buy. Quality vs quantity is my theme for 2020!
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? If I feel like a sales associate is being standoffish I’ll just move on to someone else. For me they don’t change my purchasing decision.
Who pays for your bags? My husband and I share our incomes. So I guess both of us. My mom has gifted some to me.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Nope. If I do want a specific bag I will ask my husband to get it for me for my birthday or Christmas or anniversary. He is not a good gifter so he likes that I tell him directly
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I myself haven’t. But I was once given a fake Louis Vuitton Pochette by my mom when I was 17. She knew I really wanted it but couldn’t justify buying a real one for a teenager. So she got the fake one for me but never told me! I adored it and used it all the time. Once the zipper broke and I mentioned to her that I was planning to bring it to LV to get it repaired. She came clean to spare me the embarrassment of bringing a fake bag to the LV store. I was devastated but understood a mother’s want to gift her daughter something she couldn’t afford at the time. However now I would never use or purchase a counterfeit for humane reasons of the workers. Plus, I buy bags because I appreciate quality and luxury. A counterfeit is nothing of those.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Nah. It’s hard to. He’s become quite an avid shopper himself and he would notice a new purchase. Plus we share bank accounts.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Open a store credit card. Never again.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Yes. I’ve realized I tend to shop more when I am unhappy with my appearance. I’ve come to learn that no amount of clothes makeup and shoes and bags will mask any of that. I’ve learned to shop my closet and only purchase quality items. I try to also avoid fast fashion.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Vacations! Now that my children aren’t babies my husband and I are looking forward to adventures with our little ones. We want to spend our money on experiences and not material things.